FA Cup 1998/99 Stats
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Tuesday 15th December 1998
FA Cup Second Round Replay

Wycombe paid the price for a spineless first-half display at Home Park as they were dumped out of the FA Cup by Third Division Plymouth by a 3-2 margin. Wycombe were 2-0 down at the break and despite a late rally where substitute Paul Read pulled one back for Wycombe in, Martin Taylor's sad night was completed in the 83rd minute when he cleared the ball straight to Pilgrim's substitute Terry Sweeney and the tie was over. Dave Carroll scored from the spot in stoppage time but dreams of a tie against Derby County had already long disappeared by then. The result has cost Wycombe the potential of making over 100,000 from the tie with Derby and the players and management will need to take a long hard look at their efforts in recent games to discover where it has all started to go wrong again. Saturday's game at home to Lincoln City now takes on monumental importance in keeping Wycombe's season alive and the fans happy.
Both sides entered the game with an embarassing scoring record. Argyle had not scored a goal of their own to reach this stage and Wycombe had gone over five hours without scoring a league goal. The home looked the more likely from the off. Martin Taylor did to palm around a downward header from Martin Barlow on 10 minutes. Four minutes later Sean McCarthy headed a Chris Hargreaves header wide. Wycombe simply weren't up for it and Neil Smillie's game plan of playing a half-fit Andy Baird back-fired badly as the youngster faded rapidly. The night began to collapse for Wycombe in the 26th minute when a high ball in from the left was dealt with quite comfortably with a Taylor punch but an idiotic challenge by Nicky Mohan on Sean McCarthy was in full view of referee Paul Robinson and after the protests and Mohan booking, Paul Wotton smashed home the spot-kick high to Taylor's right. It went completely pear-shaped for Wycombe six minutes before the break as Barlow dinked the ball in from the right only for Taylor to spill at ankle height. Earl Jean returned the loosed ball back cross the face of the goal and Mick Heathcote converted with ease.
Half-time Argyle 2 Wycombe 0
Only the most ardent of the 80 or so Wycombe fans who made the long trip south would have given any hope of a second-half recovery. Wycombe's first real serious attack of the game came eight minutes into the second-half when Dave Carroll worked a chance down the right but his chance was shut out. Moments later he did manage to centre from a similar position only for Keith Scott to head over at the far post. Plymouth could have wrapped the game up on 58 minutes when a deep ball from the left saw the resulting shot deflected wide for a corner. Wycombe's mini-revival came after Paul Read had replaced Baird on the hour mark. Within two minutes he was in the action when he ran onto a long clearance from Taylor but his low shot from the left edge of the box was blocked and Steve Brown was unable to make use of the loose ball. On 67 minutes Lawrence headed over a right wing corner from Carroll and Chris Vinnicombe went close before Wycombe grabbed a slim lifeline. The goal came on 71 minutes and followed a deep cross from the left by Vinnicombe - Read heading home from about eight yards at the far post. Unfortunately it didn't inspire Wycombe to greater things as Argyle tightened up their defence with a double substitution directly after Read's goal. It was one of those subs, Terry Sweeney, who sealed Wycombe's fate. He capitalised on Taylor's error after a back pass from Paul McCarthy and that was that. Plymouth's Sean McCarthy pushed Keith Scott off the ball in stoppage to concede a penalty but Carroll's successful kick was literally the last action of the game and there was no way back.
Plymouth Argyle 3 Wycombe 2
WYCOMBE TEAM:Taylor, Lawrence, Vinnicombe (sub 88 Beeton), McCarthy, Cousins, Mohan, Simpson (sub 85 Emblen), Brown, Baird, Scott, Carroll subs not used Bulman and Westhead Official Att:4,304

Saturday 5th December 1998
FA Cup Second Round

Wycombe wasted a glorious chance to guarantee a place in the Third Round when they a turned in a shocking second-half performance against Third Division Plymouth Argyle. The Wanderers were 1-0 up at the break and should have been cruising to victory before Paul McCarthy turned the ball into his own net on 76 minutes to level the scores. Wycombe now have to travel to Home Park on Tuesday 15th December for the right for a place in the Third Round.
Wycombe lined up for the tie with two enforced changes from last week's defeat to league leaders Stoke City. Jermaine McSporran (cup-tied) was replaced by Andrew Baird and Dave Carroll stepped in for the suspended Steve Brown. Ironically it was the combination of these two players that provided Wycombe's goal on 31 minutes. Carroll did one of his jinxing runs from the left side of midfield and his right-footed flicked cross was on a plate for Baird to nod neatly home. Wycombe should have been ahead before then. Within 30 seconds of kick-off Baird crossed the ball in for Scott from the left but after a fluffed shot and a hectic scramble in front of the Argyle goal, the diminutive James Dungey gathered. On 11 minutes Matt Lawrence should have hit the target after Carroll had delivered a left wing corner. Meanwhile, at the other end Argyle showed why they had failed to score in over four hours of football against Kidderminster in the previous round.
The second-half did little the enthuse the crowd on a bitterly cold afternoon, although the Valley End and Woodlands did their best to try a lift the team towards a vital second goal. Both teams struggled to string more than three passed togther, however, and with shooting to match the game digenirated from bad to worse and then to disaster. Wycombe's notable second-half chances were when Lawrence fired over again after another left wing cross and Paul Emblen's attempt from 25 yards after good work from Simpson. Argyle's equaliser came after a move down the right wing. The ball was centered by Earl Jean and McCarthy's effort to keep the ball from reaching the waiting Lee Phillips resulted in an og. Before then Argyle never looked like scoring and despite the introduction of Dannie Bulman with seven minutes left, neither did Wycombe. 'Absolutely shocking' was one of the few printable descriptions of the game from the Wycombe supporters.
Final Score Wycombe 1
Plymouth Argyle 1
WYCOMBE TEAM:Taylor, Lawrence, Vinnicombe, Cousins, McCarthy, Beeton, Simpson, Carroll, Baird, Scott, Emblen (sub 83 Bulman) subs not used Read, Westhead, Beeton and Wraight Official Att:3,493
Saturday 14th November 1998
FA Cup First Round

Wycombe edged into the Second Round of the FA Cup thanks to a scrappy goal 17 minutes from time by Keith Scott following a cross by Steve Brown. The game had been there for the taking for Wycombe as an unambitious Chesterfield side were happy to defend for the majority of the game. However, Scott's goal brought drastic actions from The Spirites but Martin Taylor frustrated the travelling contingent with a string of breathtaking saves including an 80th minute wonder stop from Jonathan Howard.
With Nicky Mohan suspended for this tie, Neil Smillie re-shuffled the defence with Gary Wraight filling in at right back again and Jason Cousins moving into a more central role. Wraight had another good game and provided several telling crosses from the right wing. Up front it was the same formation that played against Man City earlier in the week - new signing Jermaine McSporran was cup-tied.
The game got off to a lively start with Keith Scott being booked inside the first 20 seconds following a strong challenge on Jamie Hewitt. Incredibly it turned out to be the only booking of the game. On 22 minutes Scott saw a powerful header from Simpson's left wing corner kept out. Six minutes later he met another Simpson ball, this time a free-kick from the right but his downward header lacked direction. Wycombe should have taken the lead two minutes in the second-half when Scott pulled the ball back from narrow angle on the left but Paul Emblen's shot on the run was blocked by Billy Mercer in the Chesterfield goal. Emblen saw another chance go into the Adams Park skies on 54 minutes as Wycombe began to run out of ideas in front of goal. Chesterfield sensed they could win the game as they began a spell of pressure that ironically lead up to Wycombe's winner. On 65 minutes Hewitt's free-kick from the right saw Ian Breckin stoop in with a header but Taylor held. Five minutes later Taylor made a double save after the visitors has forced successive corners on the right. Smillie played his trump card when he brought on Dannie Bulman for the tiring Baird and within two minutes Wycombe had made the vital breakthrough. Steve Brown crossed and Scott was there at the second attempt to poke the ball in after Mercer failed to hold. Now it was up to Wycombe's defence to hold strong again and with the help of Taylor it was just enough to reach round two where the reward is a home tie against Plymouth Argyle or Kidderminster Harriers on Saturday 5th December.
Wycombe have now lost just one game out of the last seven and kept five clean sheets in the process. A run of that nature was unthinkable a few weeks back and credit must go to Neil Smillie for getting the blend right between youth and experience.
Final Score Wycombe 1 Chesterfield 0
WYCOMBE TEAM:Taylor, Lawrence, Vinnicombe, Cousins, McCarthy, Beeton, Simpson, Brown, Baird (sub 72 Bulman), Scott, Emblen subs not used Westhead, Carroll, Beeton and Read Official Att:3,302

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